Being a teenager is hard, no matter who you are, but when you’re the new kid at King’s Dominion, life is even harder. King’s Dominion is an elite private academy that trains its students to become deadly assassins. And did we mention that these students are the children of some of the world’s most feared crime bosses? King’s is exactly where Marcus (Benjamin Wadsworth), a homeless teen living in San Francisco in the late 80s, finds himself on the new series Deadly Class, premiering Wednesday, January 16 at 10 p.m. ET on SYFY and Space.
Based on the popular graphic novel series of the same name, Deadly Class follows Marcus and his fellow students as he tries to maintain his moral code, all while surviving a ruthless curriculum that teaches hand to hand combat and poisons. The same vicious social cliques and adolescent uncertainties also exist at King’s Dominion, as Marcus soon discovers when he becomes close to fellow students Saya (Lana Condor) and Maria (Maria Gabriela de Faria).
Wadsworth recently spoke to The TV Junkies about his role as Marcus. He discussed the differences between the show and the graphic novels, as well as the challenges facing Marcus in this first season.
The TV Junkies: A lot of people are excited about this show. Did you know anything about the comics before you got the part? How does it compare?
Benjamin Wadsworth: I did not know about the comic before I got the part. I am a big comic nerd, but didn’t start reading until I got the screen test. I think the show and comic are very similar. I don’t think the show will ever be the comic, but we do our best to follow it. It’s different in that we get to explore these characters a little bit more. It’s not just the Marcus show. It is about him, told through his perspective, but we get more on characters like Billy (Liam James), Lex (Jack Gillett) and Willie (Luke Tennie).
TTVJ: Marcus is at the center of the story though, so what can you tell us about him as a character?
BW: I like to describe him as a battered puppy on the streets of San Francisco in 1987. He’s a lost orphan and wanted for a crime. He has mental health issues that he’s very open about, and I think secretly he just wants family and friends. He knows that, but it’s hard to say to himself. He’s a depressed teen on the streets, and when he gets to this school and finds some friends and possibly even family, it inspires him to be a better person. He wants to be virtuous and protect his family.
TTVJ: Marcus finds himself at King’s Dominion as you said, and it’s not your usual private school. Can you talk a little about this new world he finds himself a part of and the challenges he’s facing?
BW: Marcus is on the streets, and all the sudden he’s thrown into this academy for the deadly arts where he’s faced with teenage clichés. You have your different groups, and he feels like he has to be a part of a group to survive, but that’s not really how he runs. With all that, he’s also fearing for his life, because that cliché bully is also putting a knife to his throat.
TTVJ: As if that time in your life isn’t hard enough, it’s also actually super deadly for Marcus.
BW: [laughs] Yea. On top of the cute girl’s boyfriend trying to beat you up, you got guys in the next room with weapons waiting for you.
TTVJ: Marcus seems to have caught the attention of two girls at the academy that he looks like he’s going to get close to. Can you talk a little about his relationships with Saya and Maria?
BW: He’s the new kid and disenfranchised, but still getting attention from the most popular girls. He quickly becomes friends with Maria, but it’s secretive and flirtatious. He’s kind of unsure, but he’s attracted because what teenage guy isn’t? When it comes to Saya, she’s this dope and badass chick he wants to be friends with, and hopefully he could be romantic with her. She won’t even give him the time of day and he’s getting the cold shoulder. It starts to get under his skin a little bit.
TTVJ: Being a show about assassins, I imagine you had to do a lot of stunts for this role. Is that something you have experience with or was that new to you?
BW: It was kind of new to me. I had a bit of fight training but not as much as Lana and others. They do most of the punching in this show, and I receive most of the punches in this show. But that requires some training and I felt very proud whenever I fell getting hit.
TTVJ: Marcus is really learning as he goes too so that’s something you can relate to I’d imagine.
BW: Absolutely. Marcus is scrappy. He’s from the streets so he knows what to use in his area, but he doesn’t know how to throw, or avoid, a proper punch.
TTVJ: Anything else you want to add about the show?
BW: The show just keeps getting better. I’m really excited for everyone to see the rest of the show, particularly Episode 5. That is my favorite, and I think the rest of the cast would agree with me that it’s one of our better episodes.
Are you excited to check out Deadly Class? Sound off below!
Deadly Class airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on SYFY and Space.
Editor in Chief Bridget Liszewski comes from a long line of TV Junkies who fostered her love of television from a very young age. She's channeled that passion into covering both US and Canadian television shows, and is thankful everyday for the invention of the DVR. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she loves college football and is a fan of sports in general. Bridget is always up for talking TV and you can follow her on twitter at @BridgetOnTV.